A wiser Mount Righteous. (Adam Neese)
Mount Righteous actually got home last Wednesday from its tour. But through email complications, this final post has been unfortunately delayed. Either way, here it is: Mount Righteous' final tour blog post. Enjoy.
After spending most of the morning and afternoon at the house in Kansas City, (and being made a huge breakfast by an amazingly generous aunt), we got back on the road for Wichita. There was a little more room in the van than usual because Lee and Casey rode with two of our superfans who had driven up from Denton to see our Kansas City and Wichita shows.
Driving through rural Kansas, we were all thinking about how the night’s show would be the last of the tour.
Abilene, Lubbock, Santa Fe and Phoenix seemed distant memories even though they had been less than two weeks prior. Now, we were rolling through the Midwest, facing the abrupt interruption of all the good times we’d been having traveling together and playing music every night.
Naturally, we didn’t want it to end, but we knew that this tour was the first of many more and that we had plenty of work to do back home.
When we walked into Rack Em Up, the venue we were playing in that night, we were slightly taken aback at the contrast between the atmosphere of the place and what was playing on the jukebox.
It was a smoky pool hall with a stage in the corner, bar lights glaring through the haze and what looked to be the early evening regulars crowded around cocktail tables, playing cards. But blasting through the speakers were songs by Brittany Spears, Sean Paul and Sisqo's "The Thong Song"--in that order.
Almost immediately, the bartender handed each of us a cold PBR and ordered pizza for everyone. We played pool and waited to perform, and were soon approached by a giant of a man in snakeskin boots and cowboy hat with gauged earlobes and a lumberjack beard. He introduced himself as Brook, and handed us a CD of his band, The Calamity Cubes. He was apparently acquainted with Joey’s brother’s band, Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward, as they'd played shows together. We talked to him for a while before he and his bandmate took the stage, performing as half of the Calamity Cubes.
As we gathered our gear, we were pretty solemn. Everyone seemed to be engaged in some level of retrospection. We set up in front of the stage and played the set, beginning to end, with a resigned abandon that we could only have on such an occasion--the end of a tour where we’d played well, learned a lot about our band, made a lot of friends and realized that being on tour is what we want to do all the time.
We were all smiles as we finished playing, appreciative of each other and all the hard work we had put in to make our experience everything that it was.
We were only five hours from home, and we decided to get in the van and make the drive that night rather than trying to find a place to stay in Wichita. Most of us slept as much as we could on the way and woke up in Grapevine early in the morning. We unloaded the van together and did our best to do some perfunctory cleanup before saying our goodbyes, issuing congratulations and parting on our 11 separate ways.
Mount Righteous set out on this tour to accomplish a number of things: to bring our album to people across the country; to promote our band; to make friends; to have fun; and to learn what it takes to have a successful tour with an 11-piece band. All of our expectations were exceeded, from attendance at the shows to the generosity of the people we met along the way. If anything, we learned that with good will and a positive approach, we can do anything we want.
And we will.
Now: more work to do. With a few shows--including a CD release coming up in the next week--the fun doesn’t have to end. We’re in love with being a hard-working band, and we’ve only just begun. --Justin Spike and Mount Righteous